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herpes is always on my mind

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I hate these kinds of posts yet here I am complaining about how sad I am...I mean I don't hate the sad posts. I've come far enough that I am able to read them and try to cheer other people up, but I definitely love the more cheerful ones.


I'm just feeling down right now...I've come so far from the beginning though. I was diagnosed in April but I realized that I've thought about herpes every day for the past 6 months. Every single day. Is it ever going to go away? Even when I'm not thinking about it, it's there. It just sucks. The whole thing sucks. The fact that I've never had sex but I make one mistake and bam-I get herpes. The fact that the guy who gave it to me moved to California and is off living his life. He just got to walk away like nothing happened. My friend Maggie who was with me from the beginning of this is too busy with her new friends and has left me in the dark. The fact that every guy I've liked since starting college has never wanted a relationship with me and only wanted to be with other girls and hook up. It all just sucks and I hate that I think about it ALL every day. I just want it to go away. I miss when I didn't have all these issues in my head.


My therapist finally got the fact through to me that I don't need to be worried about marriage and having kids right now. I'm 20 years old-I can worry about all that 15 years from now. She also helped me understand that it doesn't matter how I meet someone-that it's the guy that matters. So if I don't meet someone in a bar or at the store, but rather online or on a herpes dating site, that's fine. As long as I have a connection with the guy, then it doesn't matter how we met! But I can't help but think, and I know how horrible this sounds, but even though I have H, I know that a lot of guys don't want to kiss someone with herpes (i have it in both places) and I wouldn't either so what are the odds of me finding someone. I just don't want herpes to be running through my mind every time I kiss someone. I'm just so scared that I'd pass it on to someone or that someone would pass more onto me...if that's possible? That might sound a bit ridiculous but the thoughts are all there.

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I'm so sorry you are going through all of this. I get in this mind frame too sometimes. I look at it like those who live life and take chances are going to get messy. So you've got a little battle wound. You are still a wonderful person with a lot of love to offer. Don't let your mind run away with your sanity. Reign her in, and refocus her on other things. People are strong, if you accidentally give someone something and they go in knowingly, they will be strong like you. They will learn to cope, and love and live. They will learn that this is life, and there are no guarantees. They will carry on. You have to allow yourself to live and love. If others are going to sign up for the fight, they will have to assume responsibility for taking the risks. No one ever wants or intends to give someone this. We do our best to protect the one's we love, and the rest is up to fate.

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I'm sorry..I'm not usually this negative. I've just been stuck in this pity party since yesterday and it's not going away. I know those things are all true and it does make me feel a bit better so thank you. I just wish I didn't think about it all the time. I was doing so well and I was feeling really optimistic but I've just been hit with this wave of sadness and it's not going away

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I'm glad you're feeling better.

When I've been to therapy, my therapist made a good point. She said to let yourself feel how you feel. Do you feel angry? Sad? Happy? Scared? etc. Feel it.

The thing to remember too is why do you feel that way? Are you projecting your fears onto other people. Thinking "he is going to reject me" is one of those projections that many of us do that is counterproductive. We think we are preparing ourselves for what will happen but really we are just trapping ourselves. We done KNOW that that is what will happen, however we start off with these negative "what ifs" and then react based on something that hasn't really happened yet and may not even happen.

Hang in there, let yourself feel it but also, keep those thoughts rooted in reality.

Also, don't forget to give yourself a break. Watch movies, laugh really hard, and talk about things other than herpes (which can be really hard when its always on your mind).

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Thanks, those are good ideas :)


Just yesterday, a new friend at school showed me a picture of a cute guy and she wants to set us up. Before all this, I would have been plain old excited for the possibility. I am excited now too, but a bigger part of me is terrified. I don't know if I'm ready to date..or if I EVER will be! But right now, hearing about possibly meeting this guy sounds really scary and I don't know if I should see where things go or if I should just start right at the beginning by being JUST friends. I have HSV1 genitally and orally so I feel like it's a double whammy haha agh it's just all so frustrating sometimes! It's confusing and I don't know what I want right now

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Hey SJJ!


Please don't throw yourself down the well of the assumption that you will NEVER be ready to date. The truest thing is that everything changes. Everything. So you can never be sure of something so ... drastic as that. ;) You will be ready to date when you're ready. If you truly feel that you're not ready, then you're not ready. Not because you're defective in some way, though. You're not ready because you're healing your heart. It's a natural instinct for any animal to seek shelter when they are wounded, so they can heal. You're no different. If you are healing, let yourself heal without hurting yourself more. But if you are saying you won't date because of the fear that ALL of us have (herpes or not) of possibly being rejected after developing feelings for someone, then don't let yourself fall into the trap of convincing yourself that you aren't ready to date. Then you're just holding yourself back AND you're holding back the possibility of a great man being able to be in relationship with you and get to know you. You're taking a perfectly beautiful awesome woman (ahem, YOU) off the market and pre-rejecting yourself before any man is able to even know you. See the difference there? Just don't make definitive statements that won't be true with time. Time heals. It's so true. Let yourself heal if you still feel like you are hurting. Don't hold yourself back if you feel like loving and being loved. Got it? Much love to you in your journey, SJJ! You got this. I have total and complete faith in you (and your heart). ;)

Note: This is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis.
I'm not a medical professional, so please take this as friendly peer support. 

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Dear SJJ,


I have tremendous respect for you. At 20, you are showing sensitivity and awareness and are engaging in self-reflection and self-analysis. You are dealing with a difficult situation with tremendous grace and courage and I applaud you!


I am 32 and I was diagnosed with HSV-2 in April too. We all have bad days. On bad days, I acknowledge the sadness and frustration and fear. I made a deal with myself - on bad days, I will eat that pint of ice cream, watch crappy romantic comedies, and wallow in self-pity. But, after one day, I have to slap myself out of it. I journal. I write letters to myself. I listen to music that makes me feel better.


Are you dating yourself? After my diagnosis in April, I was sad. I cried. I felt hopeless. Obviously, I was in no condition to date anyone or have sex with anyone. So I decided to make peace with myself. I started volunteering. I read books that I enjoyed. I made new friends. I took up a new hobby. Rather than attempt to date, I made a concerted effort to find new friends and I sought to surround myself with a group of inspiring people (I moved to a new city for work so I needed to do this and it's always hard). I started to feel more calm, more secure, and even happy. (Basically, I asked myself, "what would Adrial do?" I imagine Adrial would embark on a process of self-empowerment. He would practice patience. He would teach himself to stop trying to control things he has no control over. He also probably meditates and practices yoga and eats really healthy, but I decided not to be that ambitious.)


Dating yourself is really helpful. It will not solve all your problems. It still sucks that you will have to disclose. It still sucks that your friends and college acquaintances are seemingly engaged in fun, casual sex with no consequences. BUT it will give you a sense of identity that is not tied to sex or dating.


I hope you realize how amazing you truly are. You have a big, open heart. And, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but someday, a special man (hell, men!) will come along who appreciates it and recognizes your strength. How do I know this? Because, in the process of trying to find new friends, I met women who have H and they all have had partners (including husbands) while diagnosed with H!


Lots of love to you girl.

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Adrial, thanks for the comment. I think you are right about a lot of things in that paragraph..I've never had a boyfriend before. I've been interested in guys, but it's never gone anywhere with them. So I think, putting herpes aside, I'd definitely be ready to date. But with herpes in the picture, I DO feel defective. I don't even know if my friend is going to follow through with setting me up with this guy and i'm not going to push it. If I happen to meet him, great. A part of me wants to meet him, but a bigger part of me just doesn't want to deal with meeting him, deciding how I feel, and potentially disclosing. Disclosing right now to me sounds like the scariest thing in the world. I agree with you that time heals. At the beginning of all this, it felt like the end of the world. But a few months later, I started to feel like myself again. Ever since I got back from my cabin for the week of the 4th of July, I felt so refreshed! It was amazing. It was like the gray skies cleared. So right now, I do feel more myself but my therapist Sarah always tells me that I need to be nicer to myself ;) By that, I think she means to stop saying that I'm not worthy of being loved, that I'm a bad person, dirty, etc. I guess I just don't know if a 20 year old guy would be ok with dating a girl with herpes...I feel like a lot of people my age do have relationships but they're still wanting to have fun and I feel like me having herpes instantly makes things serious.


Pacific, thank you-your words mean a lot to me :)


Haha I love your idea-junk food, movies, and allowing myself to be sad for a day but then doing things to up myself the next day sounds like a great plan. I have journaled all my life and I found journaling to be a great way to get things out through all this. I have filled a whole notebook and started a new one since the beginning of all this.


Well, I have more motivation to work out, eat healthier, and get in better shape. I feel a stronger urge to travel and see the world and to only surround myself with people who make me happy. I appreciate people's differences and the fact that life is short, so we shouldn't let stupid things control our decisions. I think a big change I've made is that I make it a priority to get a good night's sleep. I don't party as much as I did last year-for multiple reasons, but a few are that I will be 21 in 10 months and because I still have fun at parties without it. Drinking sometimes brings up things that I don't like to things about, so I've distanced myself from it a bit. But like my therapist reminds me every time I see her, being nicer to myself is something I've been working on. I have post-it notes on my dresser with things that I like about myself written on them.


Thanks again Pacific :)

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I have a very close friend who suffered from anorexia throughout her 20s. During college, she would express many of the same fears and anxieties that you just expressed to Adrial. And a H positive person may say, "well, big deal, she didn't have a lifelong virus, she can just get over anorexia." But she certainly never thought she would ever feel secure and confident; that she would ever be "good enough" for a guy. (Not to oversimplify anorexia, I'm just focusing on certain fears/anxieties she expressed.)


My point is that there are any number of conditions that can devastate a person's sense of self-worth and self-love. But I have FAITH in you SJJ and I believe in YOU because you have such a lovely raw honesty about you, and you engage in such active reflection and self-analysis. You're always thinking and always striving to become a better person. These are marks of a strong person and an extraordinary young woman.


The best thing about Adrial and H Opp is that the values that he and this site espouse, ultimately, have very little to do with herpes and have everything to do with making each of us into more enlightened persons - more compassionate, loving, honest, living our lives with integrity and having the courage to remain faithful to our values and convictions.


So my dear SJJ, have faith, I recognize a fellow humanitarian and kind soul. You have a great capacity for love and a curiosity about the world. You will accomplish amazing things that have absolutely nothing to do with sex, men, dating, and herpes. You will make your community and your little corner of the world a better place. I know this because you will act with love, compassion, and forgiveness. Sometimes, being an "outsider" or being "marginalized", gives you great wisdom. I sense that it has increased your capacity for empathy.


Much love to you!

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I'm 30 and i remember when i was 20 even without herpes all guys in that age range only wanted hookups and nit love or companionship. You would still be in the same boat even without herpes wanting a partner that was in your age range. And if you ever feel like you are missing out on the casual hookups i can tell you what happens with them. You would start having sex and being each othrrs "friends with benefits". Next you would get attached to them and emotionally divested into them. Then they would move on ti the next girl and you wiuld be left heartbroken and still wondering, "what's wrong with me?" was i not small enough was i not pretty enough was i not good enough in bed. Not realizing as a young 20 yr old woman that nothings wrong with you. It was just them wanting to party and have a good time and have sex with as many women as possible cuz that's just how a lot of these young men are. not all but quite a few. I hate that this is on your mind everyday. I found out i had it in august but it doesn't plague my mind daily. You know what i do? I think to myself well this was a warning from the great spirit that if i didn't slow down i would have got something worse like hiv. something that kills. Um gonna be hoping the best for you and you take care of yourself cause you really are such a beautiful woman. Don't let anyone make you feel less than what you are.

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What helps me is getting as much knowledge as possible. For me knowledge means power. It will help you feel more confident, and help others feel more at ease as well. It is good to not want to spread it to someone else, that means you care. If you learn about ways to help prevent that from happening, it not only will help your peace of mind, but it will help your chances of not spreading it.


Pacific is right, the sensitivity and awareness you are showing is quite impressive.


Thumbs up, girlie!

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Thank you Pacific. I think relating H to anorexia and not feeling good enough gives good perspective. I guess lots of people don't feel good enough, for many different reasons. I just hope that I can get past my insecurities someday.


peachyogurtisawesome, thank you. I know that I could have gotten something worse and at least I'm not dying, but I just feel like herpes has such a bad stigma and that's why it bums me out so much. Plus, like lots of other people probably say, I never thought I'd get an STD. I've never even gone all the way to having sex. I guess I'm just an example that anyone can get an STD. But getting herpes has made me slow down to think about what kind of relationship I want to have and what kind of person I want to be. I don't want to be kissing strangers anymore. I want to be with someone I like and someone who likes me back.


Juvia, I think knowledge is good too. I have read lots about it on here and other sites. I even met with my doctor over the summer and that was very helpful. Uncomfortable talking about it, but helpful.

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